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Chondrodermatitis nodularis helicis in Adult
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed

Chondrodermatitis nodularis helicis in Adult

Contributors: Sruthi Renati MD, Belinda Tan MD, PhD, Susan Burgin MD
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed


Chondrodermatitis nodularis helicis (chondrodermatitis nodularis chronica helicis et antihelices, or CNH) is a common, benign inflammatory condition of the helical or antihelical cartilage and overlying skin with an exquisitely tender, small erythematous papule (or papules).

Repeated trauma, pressure, and subsequent decreased blood flow and ischemic necrosis of the affected cartilage and overlying dermis are thought to promote this condition. This chronic pressure may be due to patients preferentially sleeping on the affected side of the head. Another possible cause is chronic pressure from cell phone use on the affected side. Cold, radiation therapy, and actinic damage may be exacerbating factors.

This condition is more common in middle-aged to elderly men with light skin phototypes. In men, CNH favors the helix, whereas in women, the antihelix is more commonly affected. The condition can rarely occur in children. There have been no reports of malignant degeneration.


H61.199 – Noninfective disorders of pinna, unspecified ear

76583009 – Chondrodermatitis nodularis helicis

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Last Reviewed:08/12/2018
Last Updated:08/12/2018
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Chondrodermatitis nodularis helicis in Adult
A medical illustration showing key findings of Chondrodermatitis nodularis helicis : Anti-helical rim of ear, Ear, Helical rim of ear, Painful skin lesion, Firm papules
Clinical image of Chondrodermatitis nodularis helicis - imageId=24495. Click to open in gallery.  caption: 'A small crusted papule with a collarette of scale on the helix.'
A small crusted papule with a collarette of scale on the helix.
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